Having had such amazingly wonderful weather at Greeenbelt, and basked in a sun that seemed to be celebrating with us, it was the more shocking to return to reality and read of the devastation wreaked by hurricane Katrina. During the Festival, there had been a couple of panel discussions on blogging, and it was interesting the degree of suspicion that the phenomenon seems to evoke from those who’ve not fallen victim to its allure. There were mutterings about arrogance and “vanity publishing”…anxieties about personal vulnerability….but I didn’t hear a great deal about the online communities that have developed through blogs across the world. Fresh back from meeting All Manner of Thing irl (might blog this later: it was a lovely day), I’m specially conscious of how interconnected our lives are. Katrina underlines this. The hurricane may feel very remote for us in the UK, but having read and enjoyed St Casserole's blog over the past few months, I’m now very aware that there are real people behind the stories. Her husband’s post, from their place of sanctuary in another state, gives the lie to any feeling I might have had that because the disaster has occurred in rich America, there’s not that much need to worry about the recovery process.
So, I’m glad to join in with today’s international appeal across the blogosphere to raise money for those too poor to flee, those whose homes have vanished as if they had never been, those without water, food, electricity…I truly can’t imagine how it must feel, but my heart goes out to them. At Greenbelt someone took my purse from my backpack; it was later handed in, without cash but with driving licence, cards etc. I was upset…still can’t really afford to lose £30 like that, and it made me sad that it had happened in my favourite place on earth. But all it meant was that I couldn’t buy one more wild and wonderful ethnic jumper. Big deal. How would it feel if everything had gone, if a lifetime of precious junk had been blown away? Let alone the loss of friends, families, whole neighbourhoods. I can’t imagine, but I’ll pray. And give.
Perhaps you might too.